I pressed the gun to my cheek. I tried not to look in the mirror.
In between flashbacks I kept obsessing about Linda. How could she leave in the middle of all this. How could she? I even turned the pity on myself. I’m a mess. I’m in so much pain. My hip. My knees.
I don’t even know if I can wrestle any more. What the hell am I gonna do? My back hurts so bad I have to sit just to brush my teeth. In this damned chair. Right here. Look at me.
I could feel the life draining out of me. I could feel myself bleeding. That’s what it felt like, bleeding. Not from a cut on my body, but a wound somewhere deeper.
It had me curling my index finger on the trigger of a loaded handgun and putting it in my mouth.
I hit bottom and I stayed there for two straight days.
That voice in my head would not stop, ‘Maybe I should do it. Only cowards commit suicide. My family would be better off without me. What about the kids. I’m gonna do this. Just pull the trigger. Why not end it. Just do it Hogan. Do it’.
I remember how it tasted when I put the barrel in my mouth, the sound it made when the metal clicked against my teeth.
It was real weird behaviour, like I was psyching myself up to do the deed.
I was so depressed I just kept thinking, ‘This would be so easy’.
Add to that the haze of the pills and the booze and it’s some sort of miracle that the gun just didn’t go off.
Heck, the tips of my fingers are still numb from a wrestling accident in the 1990s, which means I probably could have pulled that trigger without even knowing I’d done it. Boom! The end.
Then my phone rang. I didn’t recognise the number. It was Laila Ali. This girl I barely knew picked up on the Gladiators set that I was having a real hard time.
Days had gone by and she was still thinking about it.
I’d met her dad a bunch of times – he was guest referee at the first WrestleMania – and here his daughter is calling me up to see how I’m doing.
For some reason that phone call snapped me out it.
I’ve never told her this, and she might not even understand the depth of the impact she had on me, but Laila Ali saved my life.